Senior Connections Senior Connections Jan 2019 - Page 2

Waverly American Legion Post 305 Members of Charles Clasessens American Legion Post No. 305 of Waverly conducted graveside military honors during the spring blizzard of April 2018. JAN ENGELHARDT Correspondent Throughout 2018, the world commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. As part of that remembrance, Charles Claessens American Legion Post 305 in Waverly published a 225-page book, “WWI: The Waverly Connection,” which provides a brief history of World War I, and profi les 149 individuals from the city of Waverly, and Marysville, Woodland, and Middleville townships who served in the war. Waverly Post 305 is compiling a similar book commemorating the service of local World War II veterans, and hopes to publish it in a few years. In addition, 2019 will mark more centennial observances: the national charter of the American Legion by Congress in September 1919, and the original charter of Waverly Post 305 in October 1919. Minnesota has a special connection to the history of the American Legion, as the fi rst Legion convention, during which the organization’s constitution was adopted, took place in Minneapolis in November 1919. Recently, several members of Waverly Post 305, including Dave Holmes, Judd Meyer, and Dave Remer, gathered at the home of current Post Commander, Ken Borrell, to talk about the Legion’s community activities, to share personal stories of their military service, and to explain what makes Post 305 unique. All four men agreed that the ceremonial duties 2 Senior were among the Legion’s most important and rewarding activities, such as providing honor guards for funerals of veterans, or presiding at Memorial Day observances in Waverly. SUBMITTED PHOTOS Service uniforms Post 305 is one of very few Legion posts in which members wear their individual service uniforms during ceremonies, instead of American Legion uniforms. Post Commancer Borrell explained, “We’re kind of unique in that we march on Memorial Day with our uniforms on that we had when we were in the service, and when we do our military rites for funerals, we do the same thing.” Remer explained how special the tradition of Memorial Day observances is for Post members, “I got home [from Vietnam] in September of 1970, so ‘71 would have been my fi rst Memorial Day, and I was pretty much hooked after that. I’ve been to every one since, except in the year 9/11 happened. That Memorial Day, we hauled our Harleys out to DC, and I did the Rolling Thunder from the Pentagon parking lot to the Vietnam Wall. That was the only year I missed Waverly [ceremonies].” Meyer, who has been a Legion member for 13 years, added, “One of the things I think is particularly neat is doing the funerals. Anyone who has any type of Waverly Post 305 published a book detailing the World military service, if they request, we go out and do it. War I service of 149 individuals from the community and It’s always well received and appreciated. I think it is surrounding townships. neat that we wear our own uniforms, so we will have Connections January 2019 Senior Connections HJ.COM